Crash teen's haunting final text message
A bubbly and popular 17-year-old had excitedly texted her best mates about passing her driving test - less than four hours before she died behind the wheel in a horrific crash.
Kimberley Berente, from Mandurah, 70km south of Perth in Western Australia, sent the text to her two friends just before 9am on Tuesday morning saying: "I got my licence!"
Police said the three girls were all in Year 11 and celebrating the end of the school year by taking a day trip to the beach.
However, it ended in tragedy when the teenager lost control of the Subaru Outback on an unsealed road at about 12.30pm on White Hill Rd, Bouvard, just south of Mandurah.
The car rolled several times and Ms Berente died at the scene from head injuries, but her two 16-year-old friends managed to crawl out of the wreckage.
One of them called their mother, telling her they'd been involved in a crash and both teenagers were taken to Royal Perth Hospital.
Some of Ms Berente's friends have been posting emotional tributes on social media.
"You will always be in my heart, you precious, precious soul," one friend wrote.
"You never know what it feels like to lose your best friend until you actually have lost them. You were such a beautiful person and you always lit up my day," wrote another.
Ms Berente's mates visited the scene of the tragedy on Wednesday where they could be seen hugging each other and laying flowers by the side of the road.
Local residents are now calling for clearer signs to be put up at White Hill Rd.
"There is a sign at the beginning of the road to say that the condition of the road are subject to change," Mandurah resident Mike McVilly told 7 News.
"If they could probably put a more permanent speed reduction sign of, say, 40 or at least 50 maximum km/h, that would be a big benefit, I'm sure."
WA Detective Senior Constable Steven Morgan described the fatality as "just awful" - adding that police did not believe the 17-year-old was speeding and all three girls were wearing seatbelts.
"There is nothing here at all to indicate the driver was exceeding the speed limit or doing anything wrong whatsoever," he told The West Australian.
"Unfortunately, it is just inexperience on an unsealed road. It is a loose surface and very bumpy.
"It is a tragedy any time but coming up to this time of year when families want to be together, it is awful."
The major crash squad is at the scene investigating.